Professionals Armadale Real Estate - The unglamorous life of a real estate agent - Real Estate Agents and Property Management - Brookdale, Seville Grove, Gosnells, Roleystone (2022)

You may have seen various job listings advertising a job in real estate as a property consultant. They are usually adorned with wording to the effect of:

  • Want the chance of earning $100,000+ in your first year!?
  • Passionate about real estate?
  • Like working with people and have great communication skills?

They are all questions most of us would be able to answer with a positive response.

After all, everyone wants to earn a healthy wage … right?

Nearly all jobs require good communication skills, and as for a passion for real estate? Well, it’s quite simply essential to our daily needs! A place for shelter, but also a place to express our territorial instincts, adorning our homes with elaborate renovations played out in both reality and fantasy – either with a trip to Bunnings or through the guilty pleasure of watching one of the many top-rating renovation shows on TV.

However, what is the life of a real estate property consultant really like?

Does it live up to the hype?

Is it possible to earn wages in excess of $100,000 working for your passion, while at the same time enjoying working in the community?

Well not surprisingly like most jobs, the fantasy is hardly representative of the experience. It’s well known most people have a low opinion of real estate property consultants. There’s even an ad doing the rounds that states:

”My son is dead – well… he’s a real estate agent.”

Property consultants are branded as untrustworthy and “slimy”, driving around in their fancy cars, which many imagine have been purchased with overly fat commissions taken from innocent vendors for what most perceive to be minimal work.

So I thought I’d break from the norm this week and take a look at the reality behind the life of a property consultant.

For the buyer at least, when they meet a property consultant, there’s this uncomfortable feeling they’re “out to get you” – or at least empty your wallet.

There’s no doubt property consultants are somewhat compromised through the “commission only” model – or even the current alternative “flat fee” model. After all, they’re not going to get paid unless they sell the property – even if that means a little “vendor crunching” along the way – and in truth, most vendors have high expectations. What’s the alternative? Perhaps a “pay by the hour” model – pay for service, and take commissions out of the equation.

To last the road, a property consultant must build trust with their vendors. Without it, building up a referral database (the main source of business for any agency) would be impossible. Therefore, existing on a roll call of needless exaggerations is simply not a reasonable strategy no matter what the perception.

Not only this, the common perceptions of real estate agents not working hard are far from the mark (at least for those who desire to be successful). I’ve often pondered that the advert for employment as a property consultant should begin:

“Are you prepared to give up your weekends for the foreseeable future?”

Because a career in real estate – especially when you start – will ask you to do precisely that!

Saturday’s will be spent opening houses, conducting auctions, trying desperately to tie up a deal so you can report a positive result to the boss during the traditional Monday morning sales meeting.

But it’s not just Saturdays you’ll give up. Many vendors also expect their agents to be on hand Sunday as well! This means while everyone else is kicking back spending time with the family in shorts and thongs (well, in the summer months anyway!), the local agent will be standing in suit and jacket – rain or shine – donning a smile and welcoming house shoppers and nosey neighbours who only get the weekends to take a squiz at their short list of homes.

But don’t agents get a week day off to compensate?

Well yes, most do, but bear in mind while the agent may have a week day reprieve, it doesn’t mean the phone will stop ringing!

A real estate agent’s business is largely conducted over the phone. Friday may be their day off, but no one else will know it. You may think an agent should just turn the phone off? It’s very hard to do when you work in a job solely reliant on commissions.

When you are unwell, you do not always go to work, well the property consultant does not always have that same luxury, how could they potentially miss a prospective client being able to contact them?

Turn the phone off, and the buyer calling may decide to contact someone else in the office about the house they’re interested in. If so, you won’t get the commission should they purchase.

And even worse – what if it’s someone calling for a market appraisal – a potential seller? Well that’s a call you can’t afford to miss.

As for the open home, well merely conducting the operation is a joy to behold. Most agents have as little as 15 minutes to get from one listing to another and against all odds, they can’t risk being late! (Not an easy task for anyone who may have noticed that weekend traffic is often worse than that during weekdays.)

The vendor is essentially the agent’s boss, so they won’t be happy if the agent doesn’t show up for work on time. Especially when they’ve spent the last three hours scrubbing and cleaning in an effort to create a show home masterpiece – all for the sake of a 30-minute open.

Should an agent dare to leave more time in between opens, once they get to open number nine, they’ll be an unhappy vendor wondering why their property is not being opened until 5pm, when everyone else has knocked off for the night.

The 15 minutes must also include finding a parking spot at each end of the street and popping the “open for inspection” boards out (if you live in an area that allows them). For the sake of timing this often requires stopping mid road switching the emergency lights on whilst struggling with a board flapping in the wind.

Struggling with the keys ,setting out the brochures and switching all the lights on – more often than not, with a queue of impatient buyers waiting outside to hand out names and numbers (which often turn out to be false) is another “perk” of the job.

As a property consultant, you’ll have to don a permanent smile while at the same time, pretending the train line running so close behind the house that the whole place rattles as it passes isn’t really a negative because you can’t hear it when the windows are shut and after all – it’s so handy being close to the station!

Situations like this are all part and parcel of the job.

Nor does an agent turn off in the evenings. Work hours prevent most buyers from conducting private inspections during daylight hours. Yet if they’re interested enough to purchase a property, a private inspection is often a must. This means the agent will be required to work late – long after other workers have clocked off.

The agent’s mobile phone number is present on every advert – and most agencies will require the agent to use their existing mobile for business (few provide an office phone) therefore it’s also their personal “out of hours” number.

Most of us wouldn’t give out mobile numbers unless it was to a personal contact – someone we generally wouldn’t mind contacting us out of hours. However an agent happily hands his number to hundreds of people each week knowing full well there’ll be a proportion of those buyers who’ll take full advantage of the privilege. As I said earlier – it’s all well and good turning the phone off – however miss a call and you risk missing potential commission from an active purchaser or seller.

But let’s get to the crunch – what about the $100,000+ a year wage??

Contrary to popular belief, most property consultants are on no more than $60,000/$70,000 a year, and when they initially enter the business, the starting wage is more like $30,000 to $35,000 per year. This is because an agent typically works for a minimum retainer, which when I last checked is little more than $600 per week.

The retainer must cover most expenses, including a smart car and expensive-looking suit – (a well accepted requirement in the industry to at least give the impression of professionalism and expertise.) Therefore it will come as no surprise to learn many agents’ cars are leased, not owned, and the younger ones (in their 20s) usually still live at home.

As for the retainer, well in essence it’s little more than a loan. Once a commission is earned, any wages received in the interim will be deducted before it’s handed over to the agent. Remember sales commissions aren’t commonly paid until settlement, therefore the lag between the accrued retainer and commission can be a number of months.

Average commissions differ from state to state and seem large to the home owner who often hands in excess of $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000 to the agency upon settlement. However the property consultant only receives a small proportion of this – often only 2,000 or 3,000, therefore considering the hours they work it’s not all that great.

Furthermore – when an agent initially starts his career in real estate, it’s not unusual for it take up to and beyond a year to consistently earn in excess of the basic retainer. Any hint of a $100,000+ a year salary is firmly reserved for those who’ve weathered through five years or more in the industry, building up contacts and often working seven days a week in the process.

By far the greatest fear for an agent is the whiteboard at the back of the office that shows what each agent has sold or listed for the month.

If an agent falls behind on expected output, the director will start to question his use to the agency. An agent can be sacked with as little as two weeks’ notice if the boss doesn’t think he’s “paying for his desk”.

Yet real estate is a competitive business. It may be easy to pick up listings for the agent who’s worked in the industry for a period of years with a substantial database of contacts. However for those starting out, often the only way to get in front of a seller is to literally walk the streets. Knock on doors, post leaflets through letter boxes, while avoiding those with “No Junk Mail” signs for fear of upsetting a potential vendor.

Every enquiry an agent receives from a potential buyer will be followed with the desperate and hopeful question:“Do you have a home to sell?” “Do you require a ‘no obligation’ market appraisal?”

Anyone entering the business better have a thick skin to combat all the angry responses and disappointments.

Real estate sales is a highly competitive industry – especially in inner-city precincts. When the initial no obligation market appraisal is booked in, most agents will be up against at least two competitors. With the fear of the whiteboard ever present in mind, it’s no wonder one agent will aim to promise more than another when it comes to their estimation of the homes potential sales price (commonly known as “buying the listing”).

Once the vendor has signed on the dotted line, the real work begins.

The agent won’t get paid a cent if he doesn’t sell the property – therefore encouraging the vendor to “meet the market” (known in the business as “vendor education”), no matter what was promised prior to the contract being signed, is, of course, common practice.

Should the agent’s authority period run out on the contract (the period of time the vendor has given the agent to sell the property) before he’s managed to get both the potential buyer and seller to agree on price, then the property consultant will get nothing!

As for holidays, in the world of real estate they are few and far between. Aside from the odd long weekend or Easter break, the main holiday period in the real estate industry is Christmas. It’s the only time an agency can acceptably close.

Therefore, in the run up to Christmas agents will work harder than ever to wrap up sales and line up potential listings for vendors not making the pre-Christmas deadline.

The last thing an agent wants is a property looking tired as it hangs on the internet over the festive break slipping further down the default search list on

Furthermore, they’ll want to collect as much commission as possible for their own festivities, therefore, a deal done prior to Christmas means extra dollars in the holiday bank account.

All in all the life of an estate agent is a tough one, and only really rewarding for those who truly love, live and breathe property (and there are a few!).

The real dollars come years down the line once the hard yards have been walked and the reputation of ‘experience’ earned. At that stage, the agent in question is often established enough to afford a PA to conduct the weekend opens and answer all enquiries.

Therefore, next time you pop through a open home, spare a thought for the agent, who sits at the lower end of most people’s perceptions, yet lives a reality very different from what you may perceive.

All this aside – we still have to ponder if such extreme commissions are worth the work involved? The agent may not get the dollars involved, but the agency does – and it’s no small amount. At some point the whole role of a property consultant is going to have to be re-assessed if they’re to claim back respect from the broader community.


Do real estate agents get a base salary in Australia? ›

The average real estate agent salary in Australia is $67,500 per year or $34.62 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $53,500 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $102,000 per year.

Do Realtors have good work life balance? ›

Is Work-Life Balance Possible for Real Estate Agents? Although real estate professionals work very hard, it is possible to have a healthy work-life balance. It is normal for service industry jobs like real estate to require a lot of work on the weekend or during vacations.

Is being a real estate agent worth it Australia? ›

Unlimited income potential

It's true that real estate agents can achieve tremendous success. But never lose sight of the work they put in to get there. The two most important skill sets are business skills and people skills. A genuine interest in real estate will take you a long way too.

Is real estate agent a rewarding career? ›

Working as a real estate agent or broker can be fulfilling and financially rewarding, but it's not easy. A career in real estate requires drumming up business, promoting yourself, tracking leads, handling complex paperwork, providing customer service, and much, much more.

Who is the highest paid real estate agent in Australia? ›

Australia's top real estate agent, Alexander Phillips, on selling $1.1 billion of property in a year – and what the market will do next.

How much does a real estate agent make a year? ›

But while some realtors earn six and even seven figure commissions, across the industry salaries vary widely. As of April 2022, the average real estate agent in the United States makes $95,076 per year in the United States, according to employment website Indeed.

How many hours a week do most Realtors work? ›

However, most real estate agents do work “full-time,” which means they work close to forty hours per week or more. Keep in mind, not all of this time is spent showing homes or closing deals.

How long do most Realtors last? ›

Why 87% of Real Estate Agents Fail
  • Something to note: in 2014, NAR reported 87% of all new agents fail after five years in the industry, with only 13% making it. ...
  • While the real estate agent failure rate may seem shocking to some, it's the stark reality of the industry.
15 Nov 2021

Do attractive Realtors do better? ›

Hardly! Salter and his fellow researchers also found considerable caveats to their findings. For instance, in the seven-year period the researchers studied, attractive agents typically carry 17 fewer listings than average-looking agents and had 11 fewer sales, and it also took them longer to sell those properties.

How much does real estate agent Make month Australia? ›

The average real estate salary in Australia is $100,000 per year or $51.28 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $75,750 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $164,651 per year.

Why do real estate agents make so much money? ›

Most real estate agents make money through commissions that are based on a percentage of a property's selling price, (Commission can also be flat fees, but that is much less common.) Agents work under real estate brokers, and the commissions are paid directly to the brokers.

What are the negatives of being a real estate agent? ›

What Are the Drawbacks of Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
  • Being too Busy. Among all the positives of being a real estate agent, the biggest con for many is the number of working hours. ...
  • Competitive Industry. ...
  • The Need to Be a Self-Motivated Worker. ...
  • It's Hard to Say 'No' ...
  • Nothing About the Job Is “Easy”
15 Oct 2021

What type of Realtors make the most money? ›

Real Estate Broker

A career as a real estate broker is one of the highest paying and lucrative professions in the real estate industry. On average, experienced brokers take home a six-figure pay. You can only achieve this number once you get a significant amount of good reputation.

Is it hard to get hired as a real estate agent? ›

No, it isn't hard to get hired as a real estate agent. A real estate agent does not necessarily need to work for an agency or brokerage to sell houses. Once a real estate agent has obtained their license and determined what sort of property they would like to sell, they may seek out clients directly.

Where do Realtors get paid the most? ›

10 States Where Real Estate Agents Earn The Most Money
RankState2017 Mean Annual Wage
1New York$102,310
6 more rows
28 Jan 2019

Where are real estate agents paid the most? ›

Who is the highest-paid real estate agent? Real estate agents in high cost of living cities such as New York and San Francisco tend to be the highest earners.

How much do Realtors make a year Australia? ›

What can I earn as a Real Estate Agent? The average annual salary for Real Estate Agent jobs in Australia ranges from $60,000 to $80,000.

How much do most Realtors make? ›

How much money does a real estate agent make a year? On average, real estate agents make $84,459 per year according to salaries reported by Indeed users.

How much does a top Realtor earn? ›

Real estate agents' earnings range quite a bit, from a modest $25,000 or less to more than $1 million annually. Agents' salaries are usually based on commission—a percentage of the sales price that they split with their brokerage.

Is it hard to make a lot of money as a real estate agent? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average real estate agent earns $45,990 each year, but the range in income is massive. One-tenth of real estate agents earned less than $23,000, and 10% earned more than $110,000.

Why do realtors quit? ›

Why are realtors quitting their jobs? Some common reasons why realtors may choose to leave their jobs could include feeling burned out from the long hours and high pressure of the job, feeling like they are not earning enough money, or simply wanting to try something new.

How many cold calls should a Realtor make a day? ›

In these three hours, you should try to make at least 60 calls per day. If you split this up among three hours, you should be making 20 calls per hour.

What time do most real estate agents wake up? ›

A real estate agent's daily schedule will look like this: Wake up early (before 7 AM), working out and your morning routine (until 8 AM), lead generation and prospecting (8-11 AM), lunchtime and a mental break (11-12 PM), appointments and meetings (12-4 PM), and the rest of the day is yours!

What age are most realtors? ›

Real Estate Agent Demographics
  • The average REALTOR® has at least 8 years of experience.
  • The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has about 1.37 million members.
  • 67% of all REALTORS® are female.
  • The median age for REALTORS® is 52 years old.
  • The median number of years a REALTOR® will stay at one firm is 4 years.
2 Nov 2022

How long can estate agents boards stay up? ›

As per the law, if the property has been sold or rented out, the board should be removed within fourteen days of the agreement.

How many houses do most realtors sell a year? ›

So How Many Houses Does a Realtor Really Sell Each Year? Only a small number of realtors sell more than a hundred homes a year, and the majority sell anywhere between 2-10 homes a year.

Are most realtors honest? ›

In short, yes, many are. Real estate agents, realtors, and real estate brokers are like most professionals that work directly with clients. They know in order to build a strong career they need their clients to trust them. For this reason, most agents are trustworthy – but not all of them.

Do pretty realtors make more money? ›

Researchers looked at listing prices, sales prices and the time properties spent on the market before the sale was completed. In general, the research found that the agents who were rated more attractive had listings with higher prices and larger commissions, which comes from higher sales prices for attractive agents.

Are female realtors more successful? ›

Women realtors dominate the industry

Today, women represent the industry majority in the United States, making up 67% of realtors. When compared to the male-dominated industry of the 20th century, this uptick is a big win for females in real estate.

What is the highest paid job in Australia? ›

1. Surgeons: $394,303. Taking out the top spot on this list and earning a whopping average of $394,303 per year are surgeons.

Do real estate agents get paid if they don't sell? ›

No, realtors generally do not get paid if a house does not sell. Most realtors are paid by commission, or a percentage of the final sale. If there is no sale, there is no commission. However, every contract is different.

How long does it take to become a real estate agent? ›

Key Takeaways. You can become a real estate agent in about four to six months, depending on where you live. The general steps to earning a license include taking the real estate prelicensing course and licensing exam, and then activating your license, and joining a brokerage.

Do estate agents make a lot of money? ›

If you are a successful seller, you can expect to earn between £25,000 and £35,000 in your first year, although many estate agent starters have earned a whole lot more than that – it all depends on how much commission you earn.

How do new Realtors make money? ›

6 Ways to Make Money with a Real Estate License
  1. Become a referral agent.
  2. Create a downline.
  3. Invest in real estate.
  4. Represent yourself.
  5. Become a broker.
  6. Leverage your credentials.
25 Nov 2021

What should a female real estate agent wear? ›

Maintain a Professional Appearance

A real estate agent is a professional career, and your attire should reflect this level of accomplishment and expertise. Traditional options include dress pants or slacks, blazers, cardigans, and blouses or shirts. Unless you work in a farm community, reserve jeans for free time.

Is being a realtor worth it? ›

One of the greatest advantages of becoming a real estate agent is the unlimited income potential. As an agent, there is no limit to how much you earn. That's because real estate agents work for a commission. Typically, the agent walks away with 2.5% - 3% of a property's sale price.

Is being a real estate agent lonely? ›

It can get lonely.

Yep, quiet open houses can make you feel like you're the last person on Earth. There's also the hours alone driving around town, the silent hours up late scouring new listings, and the time spent twiddling your thumbs and just sitting there waiting for your appointment to show up.

Can introverts be real estate agents? ›

Introverts have their own ability to sell--we think even the quiet introvert can be a rock star real estate agent.

Are Realtors happy? ›

It might not feel like that when you're working a 12 hour day just trying to get through all of the tasks on your plate, but it's true: real estate agents are reportedly 17% more satisfied in their careers than workers in other professions, according to research by the Conference Board.

Why is being a realtor stressful? ›

Aside from the stress involved in buying and selling a home, they also have to deal with the uncertainty of their income and the rising costs of living.

What is the highest paying job? ›

Highest Paying Occupations
General internal medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Family medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Emergency medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows
8 Sept 2022

How hard is it to learn real estate? ›

A real estate education will be challenging, especially if you don't have prior experience. The courses you take in a California real estate school are college-level, so there is a degree of difficulty, particularly for some students. Because everyone is different, everyone will have different experiences.

Is real estate a good career in 2022? ›

If you're thinking about real estate as a career, you should be thinking beyond just the next two years. Real estate has literally been around forever and will still be here when we are gone. Therefore, the career choice of becoming a real estate agent is a good one in 2022 or any other year.

Can I become an estate agent with no experience? ›

You usually don't need any academic qualifications to become an Estate Agent and some large estate agencies will offer to take interesting candidates with no experience and train them up.

Do real estate agents get paid a salary? ›

Do Real Estate Agents Get a Base Salary? Most real estate agents are paid on a commission-only basis. But certain agents—including those who are employed by companies like Redfin—get a base salary plus bonuses.

How long does it take to become a real estate agent in Australia? ›

So how long does it take to become a real estate agent in Australia? For entry-level/beginners: on average, it will take 1-2 months. For more experienced agents or those who want to become fully licensed, it will take anywhere between 1-4 months on average + any experience requirements.

What is the most a Realtor can make? ›

The Bottom Line
  • The average salary for a California real estate agent is around $93,163 annually.
  • The highest earners can make over $100k per year.
  • The California realtor commission typically averages 5.14%
  • The total commission is split between the buyer's agent and the seller's agent.
15 Nov 2022

How hard is it to make money as a real estate agent? ›

Hard work is essential to high salaries, however. While the average represents a high number, the salary range for California Real Estate agents falls between $24,970 on the low end and $123,700 for top earners. In order to become a top earner, agents must commit time, energy, and money.

What is the most paid job in the world? ›

The Top 6 Highest Paying Jobs in the World
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • General Surgeon.
  • Senior Software Engineer.
  • Investment Banker.
  • Data Scientist.
  • IT Systems Manager.
4 Oct 2022

What is the most wanted job in Australia? ›

Registered nurses

Registered Nurses are the most in demand occupation in Australia. There were a staggering 9266 job ads for registered nurses from June to August 2022.

What is the happiest job in Australia? ›

If you are looking for a job that lets you have fun while you're earning money, consider one of the following exciting jobs:
  • Photographer.
  • Interior designer.
  • Social media manager.
  • Librarian.
  • Counsellor.
  • Nutritionist.
  • Architect.
  • User experience designer.

What degree do I need for real estate? ›

While it's not necessary to have an undergraduate degree, it may help you stand out in a competitive field. Many universities offer tailored courses in real estate that may provide detailed study programmes involving several aspects of real estate, including research, legal training and property valuation training.

How do I become an estate agent with no experience? ›

Get Qualified

If you did want to gain a specific qualification, you could complete a Level 3 CPC Certified Estate Agent Diploma and the Estate Agency Training Course. You don't need any previous experience to be accepted onto these courses. You can choose an estate agency you like the look of and work your way up.

How much does it cost to get your real estate Licence Australia? ›

An NSW real estate licence course for this qualification usually lasts about 12 months and costs between $2,290 and $2,500. You also need to complete the work experience required of a class 2 agent before making the application.

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